This week’s photo are from a walk around Port Sunlight, a model village with strict rules about how maintain your house. Beautiful village.
Are things actually saving me?
I can’t do this.
I can’t do this.
I can’t do this.
I’m doing it?
I’m doing it!
What can I really do?
That was my brain the other day when I went for a run. I ran 15km simply because I wanted to. I haven’t ran that far in about 5 years. I haven’t ran more than 5km in about 2 years and I only really got back into running at the start of the year after a 2 year break due to plantar fasciitis (horrific foot pain). How did I just do 15km? It was nice out and I wanted to run.
Ok that’s a bit lifestyle magazine vomit inducing “Just do it! Run. It saved my life.” nonsense that I dislike. There were two reasons why I wanted to run.
- It was nice out and I genuinely wanted to do a 10km run to prove to myself that I still can after my 2 year break.
- I wanted to feel the pain of long distance running. I wanted to hurt as a reminder to myself that even in pain I can still do things.
I put on my red lipstick, running gear and I run. The first 10 minutes are the worst. My brain says no. It tells me to stop. I feel exhausted after 2 minutes and maybe I should stop but I don’t.
Eventually my brain is ok with the new reality of running not walking and I settle in for a run. 15 km later and I feel good. Free from depression? No. Cured? No. Reminded that I can do things? Yes.
The last few days I’ve been thinking about running. I ran this morning and again “I can’t do this. I can’t. I can? Hey I’m running!” Every time. I’m reminded of when I first started running and doing a 30 second burst felt like it was taking years off my life. I believed I would never be able to run for 1 minute let alone 5 minutes. 2 years later and I ran a marathon in 5hrs 35 minutes. How did I go from 30 seconds to 5hrs 35 minutes? I didn’t know that I could not do it and I didn’t hate it so I kept improving. The thought of whether I was any good or not didn’t enter into it. I simply wanted to see if I could. So I did. Every time my brain told me to stop but 10 minutes in and I was ok and I was running.
Over the past few years of doing Hello Computer I’ve been writing about how activities haven’t “saved me” like they have others. Have I been thinking about them in the wrong way? "I went for a run but was still depressed. It hasn't saved me.” Is that like saying a drank 8 glasses of water and it never saved me? You may find a glass of water at the right time is refreshing. Having your 8 glasses of water a day might seem pointless but it’s probably having an effect on you you can’t see. Maybe these activities are too? Maybe sometimes going for a run at the right time will be great but most times it’ll be every day running. Maybe they won’t fix me every time but that doesn’t mean I should listen to that voice in my head telling me that I’m worthless and shouldn’t exist. Maybe it helps a little. Maybe it helps chip away at a larger problem and I’ll never know the effect. When my brain tells me it’s pointless and it hasn’t saved me I need to respond with “So?”
Today I am less worse. The depression that robbed me of my life is still there. It’s a little less overpowering. A single 15 km run didn’t remove it. Another 15 km won’t remove it. Maybe they will help make it more manageable? If I can just get my daily life into that post-10 minutes place where I’m living not hating my existence then maybe I can believe I can do anything and actually do something. I did this, right?
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Toxic positivity affirmations are bad, and so is this.
Believe you can and you're halfway there. Woah oh you’re half way there. Woah oh believing on a prayer.